Winner, Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival
Dir: Aki Kaurismäki.
Alma Pöysti, Jussi Vatanen, Janne Hyytiäinen, Nuppu Koivu.
In Finnish with English Subtitles.
“Grocery worker Ansa is sad but hopeful, construction labourer Holappa is depressed and drunk—what’s not to love? Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki conjures a touching lonely hearts tale for this unlikely pair… The Helsinki duo meet in a karaoke bar where the writer/director’s deadpan humour and precise staging get full sway and Holappa expresses his opinion that ‘Tough guys don’t sing.’ They can, however, inspire empathy when they turn out to be not as tough as they pretend to be. An unexpected crowd-pleaser from a minimalist master.” –Peter Howell, The Toronto Star
“Fallen Leaves is a wickedly offbeat and deliciously charming love story. With its unsentimental packaging and martini-dry wit, this tragicomedy becomes unexpectedly affecting. Masterfully employing his signature minimalist style, Kaurismäki fashions a modern social realist fable, a unique observation of working-class people that plucks hope out of the depths of despair. As he gleefully veers in and out of farce, he dabs in little dashes of arthouse flair, making this dour portrait of life in Helsinki addictively enticing.” —Barbara Goslawski, That Shelf
“The most consistent filmmaker working today might be Aki Kaurismäki, the Finnish master who produces a soft-spoken and mordant comedy every six years or so and never, ever misses the mark. Even by his high standards, Fallen Leaves is close to perfect.”
—David Sims, the Atlantic